NOT ENOUGH—Nocma fuel reserves
National Oil Company of Malawi (Nocma) is working towards doubling its fuel storage capacity from the current 60 million litres to 120 million litres at a cost of K18 billion.
Nocma indicates that the expansion drive is meant to meet the rising daily fuel requirement which has increased from one million litres to 1.7 million.
The additional 60 million litres reserves would be shared among three cities; Mzuzu, Lilongwe and Blantyre, with each getting an additional 20 million litres storage space.
Nocma Deputy Chief Executive Officer Hellen Buluma said Wednesday that construction of the additional national reserves would take about one and a half years.
She said this when she appeared before the Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms.
Buluma said the company has already engaged a consultant who is working on designs which would be completed in March 2021 while construction would commence in April 2021.
“We have also discussed internally of linking up to Beira route. If that railway can also be fixed, we may also have storage tanks in Nsanje,” Buluma said.
Nocma is also looking at the possibility of having other tanks in Liwonde if water transport would be fissible.
Parliamentary Committee on Government Assurances and Public Sector Reforms Chairperson Noel Lipipa hailed Nocma for the drive.
The committee further commended Nocma for rehabilitating a railway system connecting to its tanks in Lilongwe and Blantyre.
Recently there was a strike that the fuel tanker vehicles and drivers staged for close to a week which caused some pump stations across the country to run dry.
Mathews Kasanda is a journalist who holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from University of Malawi (The Polytechnic).
In 2015, Media Institute of Southern Africa awarded him the Best Print Media Education Journalist of the Year accolade.
He joined Times Group Newsroom in September 2019.